Match Report: Kei Kamara makes picture look bleak for David Moyes

Norwich 2 Everton 1

Substitute Kei Kamara inspired a stirring late comeback that gave Norwich a first Premier League win in 10 matches and left Everton with much to do to fulfil their ambitions of securing a place in next season’s Champions’ League.

The Sierra Leone striker, on loan from the MLS club Kansas City, outjumped Marouane Fellaini five minutes from time to score his first goal since arriving in England – cancelling  out Leon Osman’s first-half header from a superb Leighton Baines cross – and it was undoubtedly the fillip that goal provided to the struggling home side that led Norwich to chase a winner in stoppage time and find it through Grant Holt.

It was a painful blow for David Moyes, the Everton manager, who ranks his current side as his best in 11 years at the club yet knows his chances of finishing in the top four for the second time are weakening.

The opportunity to test himself against the best in Europe is likely to be a key factor in determining whether he stays at Goodison beyond the summer, when his current contract ends, yet there is a yawning gap to close in the remaining weeks of the season. 

Everton have won only once in their last six League games and this defeat leaves them six points adrift of Tottenham, who currently occupy fourth place and have a chance to move further away from them at West Ham tomorrow night.

“There is still a chance for us to get into the top four but we are going to have to be very good now  to do it,” Moyes said afterwards. 

“It is a difficult defeat to take today because we controlled so much of the game and yet didn’t have enough in the final third to finish it off.

“If we are ambitious we have to be winning games like that but I felt we started trying to protect what we had a bit too early.  In the end we paid the price for that.”

Norwich were beginning to worry about their Premier League safety after scoring only one goal in five matches but their manager, Chris Hughton, may have solved that problem with his loan signing of Kamara in the January window, combined with the acquisition of Luciano Becchio from Leeds.

It enabled him to play two strikers throughout, which he admitted was a risk against a side whose system tends to outnumber their opponents in midfield, and they looked more potent for it.

Becchio took some of the burden of responsibility  off the shoulders of Holt and when he gave way to Kamara after 57 minutes, Everton suddenly had to contend with pace as well as power.

Confident enough to wave to the crowd as he warmed up by the touchline, Kamara’s self-belief was evident in his first active involvement, an athletic scissors kick that did not test Tim Howard particularly but demonstrated ability and ambition after only a couple of minutes on the field.

His next chance, from a Wes Hoolahan cross, brought a header that had the Everton goalkeeper beaten and went only narrowly wide, and then came the goal, a thumping header from a towering leap that changed the tempo of the game.

Everton, having spent so much of the first hour or so in complete charge, were up against a team that believed they could win.

Four minutes of stoppage time only favoured the home side and with almost the last action, both Kamara and Sébastien Bassong challenged for a Russell Martin cross, with Holt looking for a chance to come his way as a result, and taking it when the ball fell nicely for him to sweep it past Howard.

Hughton admitted that he had seen Kamara only on DVD before agreeing to sign him, although he trusted the scouting reports.

 “It was a gamble, not least because you don’t know how quickly a player like him, from another league, is going to adapt, but he is a player who wants to  do well and he is a different kind of player to those we had,” Hughton said.

Norwich (4-4-2): Bunn; R Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido; Snodgrass, Johnson, Howson, Hoolahan (Pilkington, 72); Becchio (Kamara, 57, Holt.

Everton (4-4-1-1): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Naismith, Gibson, Osman, Pienaar (Oviedo, 85); Fellaini; Jelavic (Mirallas, 78)

Referee:  Lee Mason

Man of the match:  Kamara (Norwich)

Match rating: 8/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Frank Turner performing at 93 Feet East
musicReview: 93 Feet East, London
News
Toronto tops the charts across a range of indexes
news

World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'

Extras
indybest
Voices
A mother and her child
voices
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee